Select your location for up-to-date news and information in your local area My Area
People making hearts with their hands

Waterpipes Or Shisha: Just The Facts

Do you know the facts about shisha?

What are waterpipes/shisha? 

Waterpipes, also known as shisha or hookahs, are mainly used to smoke fruit-flavoured tobacco, but sometimes herbal mixtures are used instead of tobacco. Herbal shisha is no safer than tobacco shisha. Both types of shisha are smoked by burning charcoal and inhaling the smoke. 

Many people believe that smoking shisha is safer than smoking cigarettes, this is wrong. Just because its fruit flavoured doesn’t mean it’s healthy. 

The health risks 

Shisha smoke contains the same chemicals found in cigarette smoke, including tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide. There are also other cancer-causing chemicals similar to cigarettes. 

Research has shown that levels of carbon monoxide for shisha smoke are 35 times higher than cigarette smoke. It also contains higher levels of other toxic or cancer-causing chemicals. One hour of smoking shisha is the same as inhaling up to 200 times the volume of smoke in one cigarette. 

This means second-hand shisha smoke is just as bad as second-hand cigarette smoke. It could even be worse. This is why it’s against the law to smoke shisha in public buildings like cafes or bars. It is also illegal to smoke inside a shisha bar, which is why shisha bars have smoking areas that are not completely enclosed indoors. 

Is shisha addictive? 

Most shisha smokers believe that they can’t get addicted to shisha. Although most tend to use it less often than people who smoke cigarettes every day, it’s still possible to get addicted, depending on how often you smoke it. 

Shisha tobacco contains nicotine just like cigarettes do, so it can become addictive too. 

Did you know? 

Just as with cigarettes, it’s against the law to sell tobacco shisha to anyone under the age of 18, or for an adult to buy shisha for someone under 18. 

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your school nurse.

Cross Hatch

Find help in your local area

Find help in your local area

Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.

Find help in your local area